(CNS - Catholic News Service)
WASHINGTON - More than 50 national Catholic leaders have signed a statement co-written by three major pro-life apostolates to draw special attention to the pro-life dimensions of the feast of the Annunciation.
Priests for Life, Human Life International and the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe drafted the statement regarding the feast, to be celebrated April 8. Usually it is observed March 25, but this year that date falls in Holy Week.
"As Catholic leaders at a time when our society is beset with the evil of abortion, and when the human embryo is treated as a mere object for scientific research, we believe that the celebration of the feast of the Annunciation is more important than ever," the statement said.
"By celebrating this feast with special solemnity, and by spending more time meditating on its doctrinal and spiritual lessons, the faithful can be even more solidly rooted in their pro-life convictions, and spurred on to effective action in defense of life," it added.
"We pray," the statement concluded, "that the pastors of this church will lead their congregations in special pro-life observances on this solemnity each year."
Leading the list of signers were Father Frank Pavone, co-founder and senior adviser of Priests for Life; Father Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International; and Dan Lynch, director of Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Among the other signers were the heads of the American Life League, the Solidarity Institute, the Catholic Leadership Institute, the National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life, the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, the Catholic Medical Association, the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy, the Human Family Foundation and the Family Life Center International.